Quiz: What Do You Know About the Benefits of the Single Life?

Are you the only one in your family who didn't marry in his or her early 20s or 30s? So what! Marriage and domestic partnerships work well for many people, but others enjoy flying solo. Even if you're ready for a long-term relationship, you'll want to get the most out of single life till that happens. How much do you know about living single? Take this short quiz to find out.

1. A large majority of single men wish they were married. True or false?

True

False

2. In general, women tend to benefit from marriage more than men. True or false?

True

False

3. Single women are more likely to wish they were married than are single men. True or false?

True

False

4. Married people are more likely than single people to suffer from major depression. True or false?

True

False

5. Some of the benefits of being single include:

a. Controlling your own finances

b. More time for travel and adventure

c. Having more time for your friends

d. Not having to pick up after someone else

e. No one stealing the covers

f. All of the above

6. According to psychologist Nancy Saunders, PhD, what's the biggest potential pitfall of the single life?

a. Self-absorption

b. Social isolation

c. Lack of stability

d. Financial insecurity

7. Single people are more likely to be introspective -- and to be happier because of it. True or false?

True

False

Answers

1. A large majority of single men wish they were married. True or false?

The correct answer is: False

Most single men wouldn't trade their current life for a wedding band. A study from the conservative National Marriage Project found that 53 percent of single men were perfectly content not to walk down the aisle.

2. In general, women tend to benefit from marriage more than men. True or false?

The correct answer is: False

It's just the opposite: In terms of physical and emotional health, marriage tends to be more of a boon for men than for women. Many studies have shown that married men are happier, healthier, and longer-lived than single men. Although women in loving, stable marriages may enjoy similar benefits, the upside of marriage for most women isn't as clear-cut.

3. Single women are more likely to wish they were married than are single men. True or false?

The correct answer is: False

Single women are often portrayed as ring-chasers, but single men are more likely to wish they were married. As psychologist Nancy Saunders explains it, "Women are generally more skillful at getting their social needs met outside of marriage."

4. Married people are more likely than single people to suffer from major depression. True or false?

The correct answer is: True

One isn't necessarily the loneliest -- or the most depressing --- number. For reasons that aren't clear, depression is more common among married people than singles. Although one recent study at Ohio State University showed that depressed people benefited more from marriage than others. Published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, researchers found that after five years of married life, depressed individuals scored 7.56 points lower on a depression scale than depressed people who didn't marry, while others who were happy and married scored only 1.87 points lower on the same scale.

5. Some of the benefits of being single include:

The correct answer is: f. All of the above

There's plenty to be said for being able to make your own financial decisions, whether it's buying a car, a house, or the occasional pair of frivolous shoes. You can also decide to have friends and relatives drop by whenever you feel like it.

6. According to psychologist Nancy Saunders, PhD, what's the biggest potential pitfall of the single life?

The correct answer is: b. Social isolation.

Many, if not most, single people have many deep relationships that just happen to not include marriage or a life partner. But some need to work on those connections. Above all else, single people need to establish a social network that connects them to other people. They need to develop interests that take them outside of the house and make friends who can provide emotional support. Needless to say, mingling with other singles is also a good way to find a soulmate.

7. Single people are more likely to be introspective -- and to be happier because of it. True or false?

The correct answer is : True

According to Saunders, married people often devote so much attention to their mates that they never really understand themselves. Single people have a better chance to discover who they are, a process that will greatly enrich their lives.

References

Interview with Nancy Saunders, PhD, a psychologist based in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

Center for the Study of Aging. Health, marriage, and longer life for men.

Missouri Department of Mental Health. Depression. No date given.

Alternatives to Marriage Project. Unmarried men not commitmentphobes, contrary to stereotype. June 2002.

Gallo, LC et al. Marital status and quality in middle-aged women: associations with levels and trajectories of cardiovascular risk factors. Health Psychology. 2003. 22(5) 453-463.

National Marriage Project. The Marrying Kind: Which Men Marry and Why. 2004. http://marriage.rutgers.edu

Ohio State University. Depressed People Benefit More From Marriage Than Others. August 2006. http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/marrbeni.htm

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